One of the ambassadorial nominees rejected by the Senate, Dr. Jacob Igbekele Daudu from Ondo State, has faulted a purported report by the Department of State Service (DSS) on the basis for which his nomination was rejected.
Daudu said he has not personally seen the said report, but learnt of it when the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs quoted the report which described him as deceitful and corrupt while serving as the Chairman of the Ondo State Agency for Road Maintenance and Construction (OSARMCO).
He denied the attempt to cast him in bad light and wondered why the DSS, whose officials had screened him on many occasions including during the ambassadorial confirmation process without raising any issues, would suddenly turn around to issue a damaging report against his person without hearing form him.
Dr. Daudu, who spoke in Abuja on Thursday in company of his lawyer, Babs Akinwumi, said although he is surprised at the sudden turn of event, he suspected that his rejection and the last minute’s withdrawal of supports by senators from his state were informed by a January 16 letter by his state’s governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, objecting to his nomination.
He said, “I am still surprised at how the DSS later arrived at their conclusion. There is no fact to this. There is no basis on which I should be pronounced as corrupt and deceitful, particularly when nobody complained about my conduct. No petition against me, no court case against me and no court pronouncement to that effect.
“I have my reservation as to why the Ondo State Governor wrote a letter of protest against my nomination in favour of another APC member from the Southern Senatorial district where all the federal appointments are localized.
“I have worked to deserve my nomination for the ambassadorial position. I take strong exception to the report of the Senate and the purported DSS report.
“This same DSS screened me as Special Adviser to my state governor in 2009, it screened me when I was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OSARMCO in 2010. The DSS also screened me when I was appointed as Commissioner in my state in 2012. I was further screened and cleared in 2013 by this DSS when I left public office in 2013.
“I presented myself to the DSS at its headquarters for screening following my ambassadorial nomination in February 2017 without any issue. No invitation was made to me thereafter. Neither was there any question raised concerning my integrity.”
The ambassadorial nominee also presented letters of commendation from his state government and state chapter of his party, describing him as a “man of honour.”